The word kwashiorkor comes from the Ivory Coast. It means the deposed (no longer suckled) child. Kwashiorkor is a childhood disease due to protein deprivation. Early signs are vague: apathy (indifference), lethargy (drowsiness) and irritability. More advanced signs are poor growth, lack of stamina, loss of muscle mass, swelling, abnormal hair (sparse, thin, often streaky red or gray in dark-skinned children) and abnormal skin (darkening in irritated but not sun-exposed areas). Kwashiorkor disables the immune system so the child is susceptible to a host of infectious diseases. Kwashiorkor is responsible for much morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) among children worldwide. Also known as protein malnutrition. and protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM).
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A disease seen originally in Africans, particularly children 1–3 years old, due to dietary deficiency, particularly of protein; characterized by marked hypoalbuminemia, anemia, edema, pot belly, depigmentation of the skin, loss of hair or change in hair color to red, and bulky stools containing undigested food; fatty changes in the cells of the liver, atrophy of the acinar cells of the pancreas, and hyalinization of the renal glomeruli are found postmortem. SYN: infantile pellagra, malignant malnutrition. [Ga, a language of Ghana, red boy or displaced child]
- marasmic k. severe protein-calorie malnutrition characterized by extreme weight loss, weakness, and features of k..

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kwa·shi·or·kor .kwäsh-ē-'ȯr-kȯr, -ȯ(r)-'kȯr n severe malnutrition chiefly affecting young children esp. of impoverished regions that is characterized by failure to grow and develop, changes in the pigmentation of the skin and hair, edema, fatty degeneration of the liver, anemia, and apathy and is caused by a diet excessively high in carbohydrate and extremely low in protein compare PELLAGRA

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a form of malnutrition due to a diet deficient in protein and energy-producing foods, common among certain African tribes. Kwashiorkor develops when, after prolonged breast feeding, the child is weaned onto an inadequate traditional family diet. The diet is such that it is physically impossible for the child to consume the required quantity in order to obtain sufficient protein and energy. Kwashiorkor is most common in children between the ages of one and three years. The symptoms are oedema, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, general discomfort, and apathy; the child fails to thrive and there is usually associated gastrointestinal infection.

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kwash·i·or·kor (kwahsh″e-orґkor) [“condition seen in the displaced child” in the language of the Ga people of Ghana] a form of protein-energy malnutrition produced by severe protein deficiency; caloric intake may be adequate but is usually also deficient. It is characterized by retarded growth, changes in skin and hair pigment, edema, enlarged abdomen, immunodeficiency, and pathologic changes in the liver, including fatty infiltration, necrosis, and fibrosis. Other findings are mental apathy, atrophy of the pancreas, gastrointestinal disorders, anemia, low serum albumin, and dermatoses. The skin of the limbs and back may have dark thickened patches, which may desquamate, leaving pink, almost raw surfaces. Cf. marasmus.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • kwashiorkor — [ kwaʃjɔrkɔr ] n. m. • mil. XXe; mot d une langue ghanéenne ♦ Méd. Syndrome de dénutrition infantile, courant en Afrique tropicale, dû à une carence protéique. ● kwashiorkor nom masculin (mot d un dialecte du Ghana) Forme de malnutrition de l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • kwashiorkor — m. nutric. Trastorno nutritivo grave en el que el sujeto padece una carencia de principios inmediatos básicos (glúcidos, lípidos y especialmente de proteínas) y una falta de aporte calórico. La desnutrición causa edemas, descamación cutánea, pelo …   Diccionario médico

  • Kwashiorkor —   [ ʃ , afrikanisch] der, (s), Kwaschiorkor, ernährungsbedingter Eiweiß und Vitaminmangelzustand im Kleinkindalter, der v. a. in Entwicklungsländern auftritt und durch einseitige Ernährung mit Kohlenhydraten nach dem Abstillen hervorgerufen wird; …   Universal-Lexikon

  • kwashiorkor — 1935, from a native name in Ghana for the disease …   Etymology dictionary

  • kwashiorkor — [kwä΄shē ôr′kôr΄] n. [< native name in Ghana] a severe disease of young children, caused by chronic deficiency of protein and calories in the diet and characterized by stunted growth, edema, and a protuberant belly …   English World dictionary

  • Kwashiorkor — MeshName = Kwashiorkor MeshNumber = D007732 DiseasesDB = 7211 Kwashiorkor is a type of malnutrition with controversial causes, but it is commonly believed to be caused by insufficient protein intake. It usually affects children aged 1–4 years,… …   Wikipedia

  • Kwashiorkor — Classification internationale des maladies CIM 10 : E40 Le kwashiorkor est un syndrome de malnutrition protéino calorique sévère de la première enfance. Le terme, qui signifie enfant (kwashi) rouge (orkor) dans la langue des Ashanti du Ghana, se… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kwashiorkor — Klassifikation nach ICD 10 E40 Kwashiorkor …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kwashiorkor — Sinónimos Desnutrición proteica Desnutrición proteica calórica Desnutrición maligna Mehlä hrschaden Finales de la década de los 60, la fotografía muestra sentada, una niña apática que esta …   Wikipedia Español

  • kwashiorkor — /kwah shee awr kawr, keuhr/, n. Pathol. a malnutrition disease, chiefly of children, caused by severe protein and vitamin deficiency and characterized by retarded growth, changes in pigmentation, potbelly, and anemia. [1930 35; < Ga kwašioko the… …   Universalium

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